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Antigua Cupcaptured by golfers from the 'South'

KENNEWICK - They weren't whistling Dixie, but the boys from the South got the best of the Northerners in the latest rendition of the Civil War.

The Central Washington chapter of the PGA hosted its first ever Antigua Cup competition April 1-2 at Kennewick's Canyon Lakes Golf Course. The top finishing professionals and amateurs from the 2006 Central Washington Pro-Am Series were invited to take part. Those whose home courses are located north of I-90 formed the North team, the South team was comprised of golfers plying their swings from courses on the southern side of I-90.

One of the deciding factors in the South's 13-11 victory over the North was the play of Jeff Bender, the head club pro at Sunnyside's Black Rock Creek Golf Course.

Bender helped rally the South from a first day 3-3 tie by claiming two wins on the second day of the competition. In the opening alternate shot format on day two, he and amateur Lars Olsen bested the team of Ed Paine and Del Herring by a 5&4 score, bringing the match to a close on hole No. 14. Bender closed out the second day of competition with an individual match play victory over Eric Didtel, winning 3&1.

The one loss Bender sustained came on the opening day of play. He and Black Rock Creek amateur Robbie Goins were defeated by SunTides' Paul Cobleigh and Ray Gallipo in a best ball match.

"They (Cobleigh and Gallipo) were the sixth seeds from the North," said Bender, explaining he and Goins were the top seeded professional and amateur from the South. "They were the underdogs and they whipped us," Bender said.

Goins, who hails from Grandview, lost all three of the matches in which he competed.

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